We’re dreaming of a local Holiday Season, how about you?
We have just had our local elections, and a new Council is finding its feet, but what if we extend our “voting period” and vote for our local economy this holiday period?
Voting with your money
Voting can be instrumental in different ways – bestselling author and respected advocate for food justice and sustainability Anne Lappe said that “every time you spend your money, you cast a vote for the kind of world you want.”
Small communities across the globe have seen a decline in locally owned businesses and the subsequent outflux of those that cannot make a living where they used to live. As people left, small towns became ghost towns with a significant loss of services, schools, health care, etc. Is that the “world” we want for Knysna and Sedgefield?
Greater Knysna’s economy has been hit hard by the COVD-19 pandemic. Local support is a key factor if we want to keep our local independently owned industries in business. There are many advantages, but the most obvious is that when you spend money at a local business, your money is likely to get reinvested back into the towns where we live. If you spend it at big online shopping platforms, your money is definitely not being reinvested locally, maybe not even in South Africa.
Why would one buy products made in overseas factories when similar items are produced locally, at competitive prices, and with more heart for people and the planet? The “world” that we vote for should foster a sustainable, resilient local economy that creates jobs and opportunities in Greater Knysna. A world that cares about communities.
A 2019 Business Report estimated that South Africans spent about R260 Billion over the traditional Christmas holiday period. Even if only a fraction of this money is spent in our towns, it will make a significant contribution to our local economy.
If you are doing gifts this year, why not ask your family for vouchers or gifts from your favourite local businesses? Think local crafters & manufacturers, gift shops, clothing stores, florists, restaurants & coffee shops, hair & beauty salons, art venues, handmade and homemade goods and local service providers. Experiences are great gifts too!
Support local businesses without spending any money.
There are non-monetary ways that you can support local businesses too. Recommend them to visitors and other residents, especially online. Like and share their social media posts, tag a friend, write a nice comment with an emoji, post a photograph (preferably of your purchase), and leave an online review. This will “give their posts legs” and boost their online exposure.
Vote with your heart
Greater Knysna is fortunate to have numerous organisations doing fantastic work in the community, whether creating food gardens, beautifying public areas or running soup kitchens. Get involved – donate local and volunteer local! There is an African saying that it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a community to build a village. So, join us this year to make our Holidays dream come true – let’s have a local Holiday season!